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Tabdeed bidding to return to winning ways at York

Owen Burrows hopes he has found Tabdeed a good opportunity to land his first success of the season in the Biowavego Garrowby Stakes at York on Sunday.

The Lambourn trainer admitted being a little disappointed with Tabdeed’s effort in the Hopeful Stakes at Newmarket last weekend, when he was second to Summerghand.

He is turning out the six-year-old again quickly as he appears to have taken that race well and only has three rivals in the Listed contest.

“I was a little bit disappointed with him at Newmarket. He didn’t run bad, but I didn’t think he travelled like he normally does. Whether that was the undulations of the track, I don’t know. The ground was a bit loose,” said Burrows.

“He’s a six-year-old now and he’s come out of that race well. When we had to enter it was a speculative one. As the week has gone on, I’ve been pleased with him and it’s cut up to a four-runner race.

“He’s not getting any younger, but he if can run to his Hackwood form, when he was just beaten, then he’d have to go very close.

“For a horse like him there aren’t many options at this time of year. You’ve got the Bengough (at Ascot) at the beginning of October so he would only stand in his box for a month.

“He’s a six-year-old gelding and this year, touch wood, he’s been easier to train, so it’s fingers crossed.”

Tabdeed is 6lb clear on ratings, with David O’Meara’s course specialist Gulliver second-best after only going down by a neck to Commanche Falls in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood. The Ed Walker-trained Great Ambassador was third in the Stewards’ Cup and has won since.

Andrew Balding’s three-year-old Fivethousandtoone completes the quartet.

Hopeful assignment for classy Tabdeed

Tabdeed will switch back to Listed company as he tries to register his first win in more than a year in Saturday’s Close Brothers Hopeful Stakes at Newmarket.

The six-year-old was victorious in the Group Three Hackwood Stakes at Newbury last July, but was then well beaten in the Group One Sprint Cup and has been out of luck in two outings this term – most recently when third in the defence of his Newbury title.

Trainer Owen Burrows will now drop a grade as he looks to get his sprinter back on the winning trail.

He said: “Tabdeed ran very well when trying to defend his Hackwood Stakes crown and he was only beaten in a photo.

“There are not many options for horses like this. There was either this or the Garrowby at York, but when we saw the entries we thought we would look at this.

“He is not quite a Group One sprinter, though the ground was heavy in the Sprint Cup at Haydock when he raced at that level last season. That is twice he has disappointed on soft ground.

“This year he has been in a good place as we are normally treading on eggshells – hence why he hasn’t had many races in his career. It is good to firm and in an ideal world it would be good, but they do a good job with the track at Newmarket.”

Tabdeed will sport the first Shadwell colours, with the Charlie Hills-trained Khaadem trying blinkers for the first time.

The five-year-old is also looking to snap a losing streak having not won since lifting the 2019 Stewards’ Cup.

Hills said: “He worked well in blinkers the other day so we thought we may as well give him a go in them. He ran over seven furlongs last time and I think he did see it out, but with the blinkers on we thought it best to bring him back to six furlongs.

“It has been a frustrating season, but he has run some nice races and he looks great while he has kept his condition better this year than last year. He has finished fourth in a July Cup and a Diamond Jubilee Stakes so he can be competitive at that sort of level.”

Royal Scimitar has not got his head in front since winning on his racecourse debut last July, but trainer Clive Cox feels he has had excuses.

Cox said: “He is a top-of-the-ground horse and where we thought he would stay further, he has proven most productive back over six furlongs. He was unlucky at the Shergar Cup meeting last time as the ground was on the easy side and he fluffed his lines at the start.

“This is a big step again but he looks great and he ran well over course and distance at the July Festival behind Blackrod, who has since won at York, so I would be hopeful he runs well.”

Royal Crusade was fifth in the Hackwood last time out for Charlie Appleby, but has subsequently been gelded.

Appleby said: “It is his first start since he has been gelded and he has taken the operation well. Hopefully we can now get back on track to where we were as a three-year-old with him.

“His work has been nice and hopefully he can use this race a starting point to returning to some sort of form.”

Ten runners are set to contest the six-furlong heat with Summerghand and Mums Tipple other key names in the mix.

Tabdeed bidding for Hackwood repeat

Owen Burrows reports Tabdeed in fine shape for his bid to record back-to-back victories in the bet365 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury.

The six-year-old has had more than his fair share of problems – which have restricted him to just 10 starts in five seasons – but he showed when a close fourth in Newcastle’s Chipchase Stakes last month, on his first run for 294 days, that he retains plenty of ability.

Tabdeed was obviously a little ring-rusty and short on match fitness but he was beaten only two lengths in that Group Three contest won by Chil Chil.

“I’ve been very pleased with him since the Chipchase, and I was pleased with the run,” said Burrows.

“He just got a bit tired in the last half a furlong – which he was entitled to.”

Tabdeed faces Group Three company again on Saturday, over his favoured six-furlong trip, with good ground set to prevail as it did when he beat The Tin Man 12 months ago.

Burrows added: “Conditions are very similar to last year, so it would be nice if the result could be the same.

“It’s a decent race, a Group Three, they’re not easy. Her Majesty’s horse (King’s Lynn) was a bit unlucky at Ascot a couple of times, and Diligent Harry was just in front of us at Newcastle.

“There are only seven in it, but you could make a case for all of them.”

Diligent Harry is set to have his first run on turf after five careers starts – all this year and on the all-weather.

Trainer Clive Cox hopes the three-year-old colt can continue his improvement as he switches surfaces.

“He’s having his first run on turf, and I’m hoping he can translate his promise and progress on the all-weather across to the turf,” said Cox.

“We’re very pleased with him.

“He had an entry in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, but that would have been an ambitious step for a youngster who is progressing – and this made far more sense.”

Trainer Charlie Appleby is hoping Royal Crusade can return to form in the Hackwood Stakes
Trainer Charlie Appleby is hoping Royal Crusade can return to form in the Hackwood Stakes (Simon Cooper/PA)

Charlie Appleby is hoping Royal Crusade can rediscover his form of 12 months ago.

Since he beat Glen Shiel at Deauville last summer, the Shamardal colt has failed to shine in two runs at Meydan in March and also in the Criterion Stakes over an extra furlong at Newmarket on his return.

“Royal Crusade has been a little disappointing so far this year,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com.

“We felt that stepping up to seven furlongs might suit in the Criterion Stakes, but things didn’t work out for him.”

As well as the Andrew Balding-trained King’s Lynn, seventh in the King’s Stand Stakes and third in the Wokingham at the Royal meeting, the field comprises Charlie Hills’ Royal Commando, Martyn Meade’s Method and the three-year-old filly Happy Romance, from the Richard Hannon stable.

Tabdeed on course for Hackwood defence

Tabdeed will bid for a repeat of last year’s victory in the bet365 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

The Owen Burrows-trained chestnut returned to action at Newcastle recently with a fine fourth in the Chipchase Stakes to Chil Chil, who ran well in the July Cup subsequently.

“I was very pleased with him at Newcastle in the Chipchase and that should have put him about spot on,” said Burrows.

“David (Probert) kicked himself a little as he said if he’d just followed the winner through he’d have been a bit closer.

Tabdeed (left) got the better of The Tin Man at Newbury last year
Tabdeed (left) got the better of The Tin Man at Newbury last year (Mark Cranham/PA)

“He just got a little tired in the last half a furlong – which he was entitled to – and I’ve been pleased with him since.

“There’s not many in it. Given what David said we might have been second last time with a clear run and given we know he likes that race it’s the plan to run him.

“As long as it’s not very soft or very quick he’ll be happy, it was on the fast side of good last year when he won it and if it’s that again we’ll be pleased.”

Burrows has some thinking to do regarding Hukum’s next target.

The four-year-old got back to winning ways with a stylish display in the John Smith’s Silver Cup over a mile and three-quarters at York on Saturday, having run well in the Hardwicke at Ascot.

He now has options at Goodwood, in France and further afield. But as yet none are set in stone.

“I had a brief chat with Angus (Gold, Shadwell racing manager) pretty soon after the race about plans,” said Burrows.

“There’s a Group Three at Goodwood, the Glorious Stakes, which is 20 days from Saturday which he’d have a penalty in. Early signs are he’s come out of the race fine.

“There is a Group Two in France at the end of August (Grand Prix de Deauville) which I haven’t spoken to Angus about actually which could be a plan as well.

“Angus has also mentioned the Canadian International, but that is the end of October so a long way down the line.”

He went on: “He certainly stayed the trip on Saturday, Outbox had an easy lead and didn’t go a mad pace which helped us. I’ve said before I don’t think he’s ever going to be a Cup horse, though.

“The Irish Leger was discussed, but we decided not to put him in it in the end. There’s the Geoffrey Freer in the middle of August we can look at as well.

“We ran him over 10 furlongs first time out, but he didn’t get competitive that day. He is a strong traveller, though.

“I don’t get too bullish, but I would have been disappointed if he’d have got beaten on Saturday. He’s very consistent and I wish I had a few more like him.”

Burrows ready to unleash Tabdeed in Chipchase Stakes

Tabdeed is all set to return to action in the William Hill Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle.

Owen Burrows’ sprinter has had his fair share of problems throughout his career, but has shown on more than one occasion that he has plenty of talent – beating The Tin Man in last season’s Hackwood Stakes, before being bogged down in soft ground in Haydock’s Sprint Cup.

The five-year-old will make his seasonal reappearance in Saturday’s Group Three as one of three runners for owners Shadwell Estate – along with Roger Varian’s Khuzaam and the Charlie Hills-trained Khaadem.

Burrows said of Tabdeed: “It’s well documented he’s not been the easiest – but he ran well there last year, trying to give Glen Shiel weight in a handicap, so that was probably nigh on impossible!

“We know that he acts there on the surface, so you don’t have to worry about it being too quick or too soft.

“Obviously at Haydock, in the Sprint Cup, he never went a yard.”

Burrows is hoping Tabdeed can have a busier campaign as a six-year-old, but points out target races are not plentiful.

“It would be nice to have a good run at him this year, but he’s in the same boat as quite a few – there’s not a great programme for the Group Three sort of sprinter, hence Shadwell having three in the race on Saturday,” added the Lambourn trainer.

“Roger’s horse is dropping in trip, but has always shown speed, while Charlie’s is in a similar boat to us – not quite top-class, and there is a lack of races for them.”

Khuzaam winning at Lingfield on Good Friday
Khuzaam winning at Lingfield on Good Friday (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Varian is looking forward to seeing how Khuzaam fares on his first start over six furlongs.

The Kitten’s Joy gelding won the All-Weather Mile at Lingfield on his penultimate start, before finishing a distant last of four behind Palace Pier at Sandown.

Varian said: “He has loads of pace. He won over seven furlongs at Chelmsford before stepping up to the mile at Lingfield.

“His work is as good as ever, and a stiff six furlongs at Newcastle on the Tapeta should suit him.

“It’s an experiment, but it’s an interesting one.”

Tabdeed and Khuzaam are joined at the head of the market by Clive Cox’s Diligent Harry.

The three-year-old makes his first appearance since impressing on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield, having missed an intended appearance in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last week because of the rain-softened ground.

“Conditions didn’t allow us to run at Ascot, and that was it,” said Cox.

“He’s in good form. This is a nice option for him, against older horses obviously.

“He’s proven on the all-weather, and it’s a good step to take at this point. He’s rated 105, and we’re pleased to have the opportunity to go to Newcastle after the ground meant Ascot was not a possibility.”

Burrows’ sights set on Commonwealth Cup aim for Minzaal

Owen Burrows will work back from next year’s Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot with exciting sprinter Minzaal.

The Lambourn handler believes the Group One prize is the most logical target for the son of Mehmas after deciding to draw stumps for this season.

Minzaal finished a respectable third on his Group One debut in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, having previously run out an impressive winner of the Gimcrack at York.

Burrows said: “Minzaal ran well in the Middle Park and he has come out of it fine, but that is him done for the season. He will be heading back up to Shadwell shortly for the winter.

“He is still very exciting and we will look forward to taking on the winner (Supremacy) again next year.

“I don’t think we will be looking to go any further than six with him and the Commonwealth Cup will be the first aim.”

Before sending Minzaal to the Royal meeting, Burrows intends to give him a prep race, although those plans will be decided closer to the time.

He added: “We would give him a run before Ascot, as it is always hard to go Ascot in a normal year first time out. As long as he is well, we will try to find a prep race for him.

“Where we start before that, I’m not sure yet, but the Pavilion at Ascot is an obvious one then there is also the Sandy Lane. The ground will be a factor, but it’s a long way off.”

Minzaal's sire Mehmas seen winning at Newbury was retired at the age of two (Julian Herbert/PA Images)
Minzaal’s sire Mehmas seen winning at Newbury was retired at the age of two (Julian Herbert/PA)

Burrows is confident Minzaal will train on over the winter, despite his sire Mehmas being retired at the the end of his juvenile campaign.

He added: “Mehmas was taken off to stud at two, but I can’t see any reason why this lad won’t train on.

“He is as chilled as you like. He is not small and I look forward to how he does over the winter.

“Hopefully he will come back a stronger horse next year. He is bang up there with the best of them.”

Tabdeed, seen winning the Group Three Hackwood Stakes at Newbury, could be tried over seven furlongs again next season (Ed Whitaker/PA Images)
Tabdeed, seen winning the Group Three Hackwood Stakes at Newbury, could be tried over seven furlongs again next season (Ed Whitaker/PA)

Stablemate Tabdeed could be given options over seven furlongs next year with Burrows deciding to call time on his season.

After landing the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury on his penultimate outing, the Havana Gold gelding failed to beat a rival home upped to Group One company for the first time in last month’s Sprint Cup at Haydock.

He said: “There is not a lot lot for him, so I think he is finished for the season.

“It has been spoken about going seven furlongs with him next season. It is not a definite, but I’m not ruling out us trying it. His run style would give him every chance of getting it as he could settle out the back and come through.”